(May 16, 2014) Worcester Prep’s boys’ lacrosse team lost 15-3 to the Calverton Cougars in the Metro Independent Lacrosse League semifinals last Wednesday in Huntingtown, but the Mallards still had the opportunity to bring home a title as they competed in the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship game two days later.
Prior to the ESIAC finals, Coach Kevin Gates said he hoped his players would perform better than they did in the MILL semifinals, where they seemed to lack focus.
On Friday in Berlin, their performance was much improved as the Mallards captured their sixth consecutive ESIAC championship trophy, winning 18-2 over the Gunston Day Herons.
Within the first minute and a half, Worcester led, 2-0. Junior Sam Deeley netted the team’s first goal. Sophomore Ross Dickerson won the ensuing face-off and scored. At the end of the first quarter, Worcester led, 4-1. By the halftime break the Mallards had pulled ahead, 11-2.
The Prep team netted six shots in the third quarter and held Gunston scoreless.
Senior captain Luke Payne tallied four goals and two assists. Sophomore captain Wyatt Richins logged three goals and two assists. Deeley finished the game with three goals and senior Thomas Buas had two. Senior Jack Marshall, a team captain, contributed with one goal and three assists. Dickerson scored three goals and won 19 of 20 face-offs.
The Prep team’s goalies did not see much action. Senior Isaiah Nsah made one save in the first half. Sophomore Wade Walter took over in the third quarter and freshman Rayne Parker played in the cage in the fourth. Neither of them were challenged.
“In this playoff game we played much better than the last playoff game,” Gates said. “We played well across the board. It started from face-offs and we rolled from there.”
The Mallards finished the season, 11-5.
“This season was much better than last year,” Gates said. In 2013 the team recorded a 7-10 record. It was his first losing season in 11 years (10 at Worcester).
“Three teams we lost to last year we beat this year and we won two games in overtime,” he said. “Looking back on the season, the turning point was the Middleburg game. Even though we lost, we played well. It all came to fruition when we beat Archmere (13-12 in overtime).”
Several Mallards earned ESIAC and MILL awards.
Nsah, defensemen Jack Pedigo, a senior, and freshman Max Bisaha; Payne (attack) and midfielders, Richins, Deeley and Marshall were named to the ESIAC First Team, along with Dickerson (face-off specialist).
Dickerson won 76 percent of the face-offs he took this season.
Sophomore Jordan Osias (defense); attackmen, sophomore Staton Whaley and Buas, and midfielder JB Loomis, a senior, were awarded with Second Team honors. Sophomore Mike Brittingham (defense) scored Honorable Mention accolades.
Richins was named ESIAC Player of the Year. Gates received the Coach of the Year award.
Richins also earned First Team All-MILL distinction. Dickerson won Second Team honors and Nsah and Payne got Honorable Mention awards.
Payne won the Bob Scott award, which recognizes a player in each area who goes above and beyond in service to his team, school and community. This player exemplifies the fundamentals of the game of lacrosse, is always working hard to improve his game and is a leader amongst his teammates both on and off the field.
Seven players, five of whom were starters, will graduate this month. All off the seniors were contributors, Gates said.
Despite losing seven players, Gates thinks the team will be solid next year.